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Partisan Divide Over Environmental Protection May Threaten Democrat Agenda


A new Gallup survey has found that there is an increasing partisan divide on whether the government should prioritise economic growth or environmental protection.

  • Gallup: “Though Democrats and Republicans have long come down on different sides when considering the tradeoffs between economic growth and environmental protection, the gap between the parties has never been larger. Seventy-eight percent of Democrats, compared with 20% of Republicans, now believe environmental protection should be given the higher priority.”
  • Gallup notes: "Americans have tended to express more environmentally friendly attitudes when the economy was doing well... Between 1984 and 2000, the percentage who favored the environment was almost always above 60%, including 71% in 1990 and 1991 and 70% in 2000. Since 2000, the percentage has reached 60% only twice, in 2019 and 2020.
  • The decline in support for climate policies may undermine a White House drive to accelerate the market share of electric vehicles and gradually roll back domestic oil and gas production - a key issue which will figure prominently on the 2024 campaign trail.

Figure 1: Priority for Environmental Protection Over Economic Growth, by Political Party

Source: Gallup

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